There was this place in the mall growing up called the Corn Dog Factory. Perhaps some of you from my neck of the woods remember it?!
Thinking back, my irrational love of corn dogs makes me question whether I am descended from carnies. Hmmm… Slightly disturbing thought, but moving on…
Battered, deep-fried meat on a stick, it is so many kinds of wrong, but I loved them.
An obligatory stop to my deep fried heaven had to be made on nearly every visit to the mall. I was even rather particular about the ketchup to mustard ratio. (3:1, BTW…same as a vinaigrette)
Standing in front of the counter, watching the hot dog get immersed in thick batter and then plunged into the hot oil…
The sweet smell of the cornbread batter turning a deep golden brown induced a Pavlovian kind of reaction.
My mouth started to salivate the second I smelled the batter hit the hot oil.
The anticipation of that first bite was almost as good as the moment I sank my teeth into the crunchy outer layer of breading and usually burned the roof of my mouth as reward for my lack of patience.
It was that combination of sweet/salty that to this day is my favorite that just did me in.
The only thing that could’ve made it better was an Orange Julius on the side.
recipe adapted from Chow
- 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- skewers (8 if making full size or 16 if making minis)
- 8 hot dogs (I used turkey dogs)
- 1 cup medium-ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- pinch cayenne
- pinch paprika
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Ketchup & Mustard for dipping
- Heat oven to 250 F. Set a wire rack inside of a baking sheet and set aside.
- Pour the oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reads 350 F on a deep-frying or candy thermometer.
- While the oil is heating, insert a skewer into each hot dog, leaving about 2 inches of the stick exposed at the bottom and set aside.
- Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder & salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, honey and sugar together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into a tall, narrow container or drinking glass, leaving an inch of room at the top.
- When the oil is ready, submerge a skewered hot dog into the batter until it is completely covered. Immediately place into the hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove from oil and place on baking sheet in oven.
- Repeat with remaining hot dogs, 2 at a time if using whole hot dogs or 3 – 4 at a time for minis.
- Serve immediately
When working with hot oil, use caution! Do not drop hot dogs into the oil… lightly place them in, skimming the surface before you let go to avoid a splash.